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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Nov 10, 2022.
Section 401 Certification Act
The bill provides statutory authority for the rule published on July 13, 2020, by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entitled Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule. Under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, an applicant for a federal license or permit to conduct an activity that may result in any discharge into navigable waters must also obtain a certification—or waiver of such certification—from a relevant state, intrastate agency, or Indian tribe that the proposed activity will not violate certain water quality requirements of the state or Indian tribe. The rule revised existing regulations, including by limiting the scope of the certification review process as well as the time frame for a state, interstate agency, or Indian tribe to issue a certification.